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Theos-World Re: Theism Can't Honestly Be Dismissed

Nov 25, 2002 11:10 AM
by Steve Stubbs

--- In theos-talk@y..., "Bill Meredith" <bilmer@s...> wrote:
> If I understand you correctly, you are saying that when a tree 
falls in the
> forest, if no ear is there to hear it, then no sound exists? That 
is, when
> the autumn leaves turn their golden yellows and orange REDS, if no 
eye is
> there to see it, then no color exists?

Almostt. Red is an experience. It presumably maps to electomagnetic 
enegry which vibrates at a certain rate. But red ia a representation 
in consciousness of an objective reality and not the reality itself. 
To assume because somethign is red in your experience it is red in 
objective fact is called naive realism. This idea is quite 
mainstream and orthodox and generally accepted among philosophers and 

There is a separate problem of whether being exists in the avsence of 
consciousness. This is how I interpret the emergence of Being from 
Non-Being. What is referred to here is actually the emergence of 
consciousness from unconsciousness. This is the more difficult of 
the two ideas to wrap your mind around.

It is well expressed in an anecdote which was quoted by Bertrand 
Russell from some source I do not remember. Presumably after 
Berkeley published his famous theory of subjective idealism in the 
eighteenth century, someone wrote the following bit of doggerel and 
put it on a bulletin board:

A Cambridge undergraduate thinks God
Must find it exceedingly odd
That the flowers and trees
Should continue to be
When there's no one about in the quad.

The following day someone had appended the following to the preceding:

Sir, your astonishnent's odd
I am always about in the quad
And that's why the trees
Shall continue to be,
They're observed by Yours, Faithfully,

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